Table of Contents

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.

Chapter 23: Introduction

P. Ostlund

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


P. Ostlund A very large number of human activities related to the production and use of toxic substances were identified and suggested as pressure indicators by members of the European scientific community. From these, 31 were chosen for a list of proposed indicators to be ranked by respondents of the secondround questionnaire.1 1. RESULTS OF THE SECOND-ROUND QUESTIONNAIRE The 15 highest-ranked indicators in the second questionnaire are presented in Figure 23.1. The figure provides the ranking of each indicator for policy relevance, analytical soundness and responsiveness. Also, the core ranking of the indicators is presented expressed as a percentage of experts who included the indicator in their top five list of essential indicators. The ranked list of essential core indicators is in general comparable to the ranking of the three quality criteria. The one clear exception to this is TX-18 ‘Emissions of dioxins by economic activity’, which is ranked lower as an essential core indicator than for the quality criteria. The reason for this is not clear but may be related to the fact that even though dioxins are known by society as a component of high toxicity, the amounts in use are low due to reduction measures that have already been undertaken. The indicators on the proposed list can be divided into two groups: those focusing on specific elements or substances, for example, emissions of lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or dioxins; and those focusing on general groups of elements or substances, for example, heavy metals,...